Luke Burgess of team Kawasaki Motors Finance started the weekend with the fastest qualifying lap in the Kawasaki Insurances Ninja FX300 Cup, granting him pole position for the first race in the AFX-Superbike Championship on Saturday. “Qualifying was tricky and busy. There were riders on the track going on at different times so it was hard to get a good time in”, Said Luke.
After changing the gearing on his Ninja 300 to suit the technical Mallala circuit, Luke Burgess took out all three races in the AFX-Superbike Championship on Saturday. Luke’s flawless results weren’t replicated in the Australasian Superbike Championship Series held on Sunday. After placing 2nd in the first race, Luke lost the front end in race two. “I was pushing really hard to get in front and it didn’t work out. After I came off, I picked up the bike and finished the race in 11th place with a bent footpeg because I knew I could still grab some points if I placed well enough” said Luke.
Progressive grid rules dictated Luke’s starting position of 11th place for race three. Luke demonstrated his speed on the Ninja 300 to secure another 2nd place. Luke settled with 2nd overall for the round saying, “It was unfortunate that I came off but I’m still first in the championship and I am going to work hard to keep that lead”.
Paul Young was ahead of Luke Burgess and in 1st place for every race in round 2 of the Australasian Superbike Championship. He subsequently secured 1st in his maiden Kawasaki Insurances Ninja FX300 Cup appearance. The full-time rider for team SA Kawasaki BC Performance managed two roles in the round as he raced in his usual Supersport (600cc) class as well as in the Kawasaki Insurances Ninja FX300 Cup as a substitute rider for the team. “It was by no means an easy weekend and I doubted the wisdom of contesting two classes at times. But getting three wins on the 300 was a great result to come away with”.
Wildcard rider for team Kawasaki Motors Finance, Paul Fitzgerald, finished 4th overall for the round with a 7th, 5th & 3rd in races 1, 2 & 3 respectively. The 23 year old Sales team member from SA Motorcycles reflected on his racing saying, “learning how to slip stream was a challenge because it’s not something I needed to do much in the larger capacities so I had to be more strategic. Guys in front would pull away in a battle so I hung back generally where I would take about 3 positions in the last lap”.
Paul Fitzgerald was grateful for the chance to compete in the series saying “Getting on to the podium and having the opportunity to ride the bike at a national event was awesome. I loved being around the Kawasaki Motors Finance team and people with similar interests. I’d like to thank Kawasaki Motors Australia and Kawasaki Motors Finance. Also SA motorcycles and Evan Byles (dealer Principal) who let me take the weekend off to race! We all had a blast”.
Ben White established himself as a strong contender in the series after his best race result of 2nd place over the weekend. Originally from South Yarra in Melbourne, Ben is riding for team Kelen Kawasaki in his 2nd year of competition racing. When asked how he entered the Kawasaki Insurances Ninja FX300 cup, Ben said ”I had a background in racing motocross on a KX 80 until I was about 12 and then I pursued an Ice Hockey career in the states. Motorcycle racing left a lasting impression so once I came back home I made and effort to get back into it. Last year Kelen put up an ad on formula-xtreme.com for a rider to race the series, so I approached them and the rest is history. I have been practicing quite a lot and I speak to a lot of people in the industry for tuition. The series has been great for me to get into road racing and develop my skills because I’ve got a 600cc being built at the moment which I’m excited to begin racing on”.
Left to right - Paul Young, Luke Burgess & Ben White - Kawasaki Insurances Ninja FX300 Cup Podium
The next round of the Australasian Superbike Championship will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 26th 2015.